Interview with the 27-year-old founder of LSI partner, SendMyBag

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Sendmybag was borne out of frustration, I was charged £60 when flying from Heathrow and the next week Sendmybag was up and running, at first it was just for students travelling around the UK but now we send worldwide every day.

Adam Ewart, Founder of local Start-up Sendmybag.com

Can you introduce your company?

Sendmybag does exactly what it says on the tin, we send bags! We’re a domestic and international door to door luggage service, we help you avoid the nasty airline fees and let you travel with what you want. With airline baggage fees rapidly rising and the number of people checking bags plummeting I believe over the next 3 years Sendmybag.com will become one of the most disruptive forces in the aviation industry.

How does Sendmybag.com work and what was the idea behind this?

Sendmybag works in conjunction with a network of freight and courier partners, we make use of the basic networks which already exist, but by working with these companies we then improve and adapt their networks to our needs. For example we are currently trialling a new service where your luggage is weighed and placed in a protective bag on collection, we also have an interesting new element coming to our tracking later this year.

Sendmybag was borne out of frustration, I was charged £60 when flying from Heathrow and the next week Sendmybag was up and running, at first it was just for students travelling around the UK but now we send worldwide every day.

What has been your biggest challenge since starting up?

We’ve received a lot of attention in recent months, we’ve been written about in Israeli newspapers and I’ve been interviewed on Spanish radio to name just a couple of the more interesting media encounters! We’re therefore gaining a lot of international customers which can mean language barriers and when we require a customer to follow instructions that can be challenging, we’ve just employed our first Spanish speaking employee, so that’s one language down…

How competitive is your market? An international moving company is not a new concept, however the idea of a mass market door to door luggage service is new, our service was promoted on Ryanair boarding passes in November and it was the first time a luggage service had ever been promoted to low cost airline passengers by an airline. The very reason I started sendmybag.com for students was because at the time no other service existed targeting that market, if you now search to send a suitcase you’ll find plenty of options, but there’s only a handful of companies specialising in luggage and only sendmybag.com is taking a mass market approach. At least three of our “competitors” take orders and then come to book the order with Sendmybag, it’s easy to design a nice website or try to send with a courier, it’s difficult to run a luggage service which offers a good enough service to allow people to use it for their holidays, and that’s why every day is a busy day for us!

What support have you received since starting up?

Unlike other startups, where you build a piece of technology and invest lots of time and money before it can be brought to market , Sendmybag has been a business and has been in profit since day one. To give us a sound financial footing for growth and to bring more expertise on board in September 2012 we closed a seed round with Loughshore Investments.

What are your plans for 2013?

2013 is going to be a big year for us, we have a number of new customer tools launching throughout the year (I’ll let you know as each one launches!) and have significant expansion plans into a new market for the second half of the year.

What advice would you give a start-up?

I started my first business at school and at 27 have never worked for anyone else, the main thing I’ve learned is that you just keep trooping, try to start by solving a problem which affects you but where the solution preferably has mass market appeal and just work hard, if you fail just try again, it could be worse, you could be working for a living.